After finishing university, 26-year-old Sophie Cartwright worked for well-known telecoms companies across Manchester in various operations roles, earning the title of Operations Escalation Manager before joining Peel Ports as Planning and Systems Coordinator in late 2017. Here, she gives an insight into her day-to-day life in her role so far…
As I’m from Widnes, I grew up watching the Port of Runcorn from my window. I’d always heard positive comments about Peel Ports from the local community, and it was word-of-mouth that led me to apply for a role when searching for a new challenge.
As fate would have it, Peel Ports offered me a new position, located a stone’s throw from my home. It’s so close that I can actually see my house over the river from my office.
My day-to-day responsibilities are far greater than I had anticipated, and I’m really enjoying my high-level involvement in the business – especially given that I’m still new to the role.
My job is so much more than sending emails, and there’s always an exciting new challenge. I’m learning more about docks, shipping and logistics management each day. I’m constantly building connections by engaging with terminal managers, agents and customers and I’m establishing relationships with other Peel Ports terminals as well as the stevedores (those unloading and loading the cargo ships).
Having come from a very rigid, target driven background, with firm management obligations, I feel a sense of freedom working for Peel. I now work for a company that encourages staff to contribute ideas that improve the business and takes note of feedback, to continuously develop their way of working, maintaining their esteemed status. I now feel I have the chance to make an impact and have my voice heard. The open-door management policy makes it easy to put any notions forward, and no idea is unwise, which is great for fresh eyes in a new company.
I really enjoy liaising with customers and hauliers, and in the future would like to develop into a customer relationship role so I can then feedback concepts to senior members of the team on ways to develop the Port, to continually meet the requirements of those using it. Looking significantly in to the future, I’ve set my sights on progressing to a senior management position. Once I feel my knowledge, skills and experience are at the right stage, I’ll shoot for that goal. I’m up for the challenge!
My colleagues have made life at Peel Ports incredibly enjoyable since I started – meeting the team has been my favourite part of the job and they’ve welcomed me like family. I’m given advice and support every day – the team are like walking dock encyclopaedias! They’ve each taught me all about their roles and in turn, it’s helping me to learn and understand their responsibilities and how the port operates. As my role includes planning the labour for the terminal for both vessel and vehicle traffic, it’s these key details I need to learn, and they make it a joy to do so.
Aside from meeting the team and gaining all sorts of insights about how a port operates, a standout moment for me so far, has been donning a hardhat and steel toecap boots and going on to a vessel! You get to see a whole different side to boat life and understand the inner workings of loading and offloading goods. It’s really interesting and the vessels definitely appear bigger than they seem when you’re on them!
While I don’t have a greatest achievement just yet, I would say being accepted into a family of dockers who have been here for 20+ years, as one of their own, in a short space of time, is a highlight for me. After all, it takes a lot to gain a docker’s trust!
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